Journey to Antarctica: The White Continent

polar cruises
A classic itinerary that delivers incredible scenery, penguins galore, and abundant marine mammals.

Description:

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Fully explore the Antarctic wilderness with the help of onboard tools including 13 Zodiacs, 36 kayaks, and a hydrophone to listen to whales.
  • See Gentoo, Adelie, and chinstrap penguins by the thousands, plus marine mammals including leopard seals and several whale species.
  • Benefit from Lindblad Expedition’s unmatched experience exploring Antarctica.

**Book by Dec 31, 2013 for possible free roundtrip airfare from Miami!**

Venture to the spectacular, white wilderness of Antarctica for one of the most exhilarating adventures on Earth. Antarctica, the “White Continent” is one of the last truly pristine regions on Earth. This is a remarkable land of massive glaciers and ethereal icescapes, home to many unique marine species. See abundant wildlife including penguins, whales, and seals, and enjoy magnificent views of ice forms that defy description.

Observing a fin whale from Zodiacs. © Michael S. Nolan

Our ship is the Lindblad National Geographic Explorer, simply the best ship available for exploring this remote region. Luxurious, stable, and state-of-the-art, Explorer carries many tools to enhance our experience.

Activities include Zodiac rides, kayaking, and hiking to see wildlife, explore icebergs, practice photography, and more. While aboard, enjoy informative presentations on topics including photography, history, and conservation, and relax in the ship’s outstanding comfort. 

Our expedition focuses on some of the continent’s most impressive wildlife and dramatic landscapes. We should see three species of penguin in the Peninsula; the Adelie, the Gentoo, and the Chinstrap. Weddell, leopard, elephant and crab eater seals are known residents while orcas and humpback whales can often be seen plying the waters.

Observing a resting leopard seal from one of Explorer's kayaks. © Sven-Olof Lindblad

We can expect to see flocks of seabirds including Southern Fulmars and Pintado Petrels. Scientific research stations and abandoned whaling stations will also be of interest. Throughout the voyage Lindblad's team of lecturers and guides will share their knowledge of the regions remarkable natural history and stories from its earliest and most notable expeditions. 

Also joining the cruise is Oceanic Society's president and CEO, Rod Mast, a marine biologist, author and lecturer who will provide a global perspective to your journey.

Gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua) parent with two downy chicks. © Michael S. Nolan

Our vessel, the Lindblad National Geographic Explorer, accommodates 148 guests in 81 spacious cabins, each with outside views; private bathrooms; and sleek, modern furnishings. The ship carries kayaks and a fleet of Zodiac motorized landing craft, as well as sophisticated video equipment that allows access to the underwater world. Public areas include a lounge and bar; a library; a spa; a fitness center; a sauna; and a selection of dining options that offer regionally inspired cuisine using fresh, local ingredients. Services include a full-time doctor, a wellness specialist, and an Internet café. 

The National Geographic Explorer in Lemaire Channel, Antarctica. © Ralph Lee Hopkins

Itinerary:

14 Days

Days 1-2: Fly to Buenos Aires, Argentina
Depart on an overnight flight to Buenos Aires. Settle into your hotel before heading out on an afternoon tour of the city. Gather for a welcome reception and dinner.
Caesar Park Hotel (D)

Day 3: Buenos Aires - Ushuaia, Embark
Fly to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world, and enjoy lunch on a catamaran cruise of the Beagle Channel. Then set sail on the National Geographic Explorer.
(B,L,D)

Day 4: At Sea/Drake Passage
While crossing the spectacular Drake Passage, spot whales and other marine life that glide alongside the ship.
(B,L,D)

Day 5-10: Exploring Antarctica
With nearly 24 hours of daylight at this time of year, we have ample opportunity to explore the Antarctic Peninsula and the surrounding islands. In keeping with the nature of an expedition, the schedule is flexible, allowing us to take advantage of the unexpected—watching whales perform off the bow, taking an after-dinner Zodiac cruise, or heading out on an extra landing during the day. We anticipate making several Zodiac landings each day to hike, kayak among the icebergs, and experience close encounters with wildlife. (B,L,D daily)

Depending on weather and sea conditions, we plan to make the following stops:

Paradise Bay
This pristine bay is edged by soaring ice-covered peaks. Hike to a summit for a breathtaking view, or kayak along a cliff-side rookery in search of blue-eyed shags.

Lemaire Channel and Petermann Island
Cruise through the Lemaire Channel between towering snowcaps and blue icebergs. Step ashore at Petermann Island to the cries of thousands of gentoo penguins standing along the shoreline as if awaiting your arrival.

Neko Harbor
Dock in Neko Harbor. Walk among the penguins on the beach or climb high onto an ice field for a panoramic vista of untouched peaks surrounding this idyllic bay.

Historic Port Lockroy
In 1944, the British government began a top-secret expedition code-named Operation Tabarin, creating a series of base stations in Antarctica. Base A, at Port Lockroy, is now a museum and Antarctica's only public post office.

Days 11 & 12: At Sea
Enjoy the ship's amenities as the Antarctic coast disappears from view. Round the southernmost tip of South America, and see the meeting of the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans. Celebrate your voyage at a farewell dinner on board.
(B,L,D daily)

Day 13-14: Disembark, Ushuaia - Buenos Aires - Fly home
Disembark in Ushuaia. After lunch, fly to Buenos Aires and connect with your overnight flight home.
(B,L)

National Geographic Explorer's impressive library. © Stewart Cohen Pictures

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Upcoming Trips:

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Dec 8, 2014
Dec 1, 2015

Trip Cost:

From $12,350 / person

Accommodations: